Project: Evaluation of an antibody detecting point-of-care test for the diagnosis of Taenia solium taeniasis and (neuro)cysticercosis in communities and primary care settings of highly endemic, resource-poor areas in Tanzania and Zambia, including training of - and technology transfer to the Regional Reference Laboratory and health centres.

Acronym SOLID (Reference Number: DRIA2014-308)
Duration 01/09/2016 - 31/08/2020
Project Topic Taenia solium taeniasis/cysticercosis (T/CC) is a neglected zoonotic parasitic disease complex with significant economic and public health impacts. It has been ranked first on the global scale of foodborne parasitoses by FAO/WHO (2014). Neurocysticercosis (NCC) is estimated to be responsible for 30% of cases of acquired epilepsy in endemic areas. Currently, there are no cheap, easy to apply, sensitive and specific diagnostic tools available for the detection of this parasite. The lateral flow test from CDC Atlanta that combines the diagnosis of (neuro) cysticercosis with the diagnosis of taeniasis is a very promising candidate. This point-of-care (POC) test would be a major breakthrough, an enormous added value in early neurocysticercosis case- and tapeworm carrier detection and management, contributing not only significantly to improved health outcomes but also to reducing the risk of transmission. It will furthermore contribute to obtaining more epidemiological information on infection occurrence and transmission dynamics, facilitating burden of disease calculations and subsequent advocacy. Additionally, the test would be an excellent tool for evaluation of control strategies, and disease monitoring and surveillance. The main objective of this study is to contribute to the implementation of a rapid, cheap and simple POC test for the detection of T. solium taeniasis and (neuro) cysticercosis in two resource-poor, highly endemic areas in sub- Saharan Africa. The proposed project will therefore field validate the POC test, which simultaneously detects T. solium taeniasis and (neuro) cysticercosis, in Tanzania and Zambia, both at the community and primary health facility levels. The project also aims to improve the T. solium disease recognition, diagnostic and clinical case management capacities of these countries as well as their capacity to conduct diagnostic and clinical studies. WHO has identified the development of POC tests for T. solium T/(N)CC as a top priority and confirms its endorsement and implementation if successfully validated. Commercialisation of the test will be facilitated once successfully validated. Year 1 of the project will focus on training and preparation for the field studies. In years 2-3 the community based and primary health facility level based studies (including CT scans in hospitals) will be conducted in Tanzania and Zambia, which will yield the data needed for the POC test evaluation. In year 4 the final analyses will be carried out and results dissemination ensured via the organisation of an international workshop including all stakeholders. If the POC test proves successful, its inclusion into NCC management guidelines will be envisaged. More information about the project and its progress is available on the SOLID website.
Website visit project website
Network EDCTP2
Call Research & Innovation Action: Diagnostic tools for poverty-related diseases

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Ghent University Partner Belgium
2 Prins Leopold Instituut voor Tropische Geneeskunde Coordinator Belgium
3 Kobenhavns Universitet Partner Denmark
4 Ministry of Health - Zambia Partner Zambia
5 Ministry of Health and Social Welfare - Tanzania Partner Tanzania
6 National Institute for Medical Research - Tanzania Partner Tanzania
7 Sokoine University of Agriculture Partner Tanzania
8 Statens Serum Institut Partner Denmark
9 Technische Universität München Partner Germany
10 University of Zambia Partner Zambia